“But Moooom, are we there yet?” If you have plans on travelling during the holiday season I can guarantee you’ll be hearing those words very soon. Children are notorious for having no sense of time – especially during a road trip or plane flight. A short 15 minute trip seems like an hour, especially if you’re going somewhere special!
We’ve taken plenty of road trips with our children both in the summer and winter months. With plenty of trial and error I’ve learned that the best way to get from point A. to point B. with little to no hassle, was to pack and prepare accordingly. I’m not talking about packing the necessities required during your trip as that is a given, but to have a selection of high energy snacks, music and entertainment to keep them (and you) happy, comfortable and drama-free during your travels.
My husband’s energizer of choice is coffee. When he’s in the driver’s seat for long periods of time, a trip to the coffee shop is in order as it keeps him awake and alert while on the road. I on the other hand do enjoy coffee once in awhile, but it isn’t my preferred drink of choice, unless I’m driving very late at night. Herbal tea and high energy music keeps me energized, alert and happy during long trips. It’s my own power duo!
We have a few tried and true energizers that keep our family going during holiday travels. Here are 10 of our favorites!
Music Playlists 1 of 10
Music is my #1 energizer. It keeps me going when I'm dead tired and can turn any one of my crying children into seat hopping dancers. Put a couple of playlists together at home before you hit the road and switch it up. Holiday tunes are a big hit right now! If you have a subscription to Sirius XM, many of their channels are playing Christmas tunes all day long.
Photo credit: shankar, shiv/Flickr
Coloring Pencils & Journals (But No Crayons!) 2 of 10
Speaking from personal experience here … I'm not a fan of crayons because if they are forgotten in the back seat, by the time summer rolls around you may find yourself with melted wax on your carpets. But you can still keep their minds busy — coloring pencils and pads of paper are great for doodling, writing and playing road games.
Photo credit: Matti Mattila/Flickr
Dual Charger 3 of 10
One USB charger just doesn't cut it for us, which is why we like to travel with an external charger as well as a dual car charger. Both devices guarantee that our phones are 'juiced up' during long hauls and there is plenty of room to recharge an iPad or another electronic device if necessary.
Kids and adults aren't the only ones that need re-charging!
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Tablets 4 of 10
Tablets are life-saving devices for long hauls. They keep the kids busy and happy while teaching them new things. Whether it be something as simple as learning their ABC's or math drills and book reading, these are a great choice for travel. LeapPads are nice as you don't have to worry about broken glass or scratches. The iPad is another favorite, but if you do use one, be sure to invest in a headrest mount for safety.
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Bananas 5 of 10
Their sweet, filling, nutritious and one of the best fruits for post workout, which is why I love to bring them on trips. Bananas are loved by most and do a great job in replenishing depleted energy!
Photo credit: robin_24/Flickr
Hydrating Liquids 6 of 10
Bring. Your. Own. Liquids. I can't emphasize this enough! Oddly enough, I find the winter months even more dehydrating than the summer. I get really drawn out and tired if I don't keep my liquids up. Some of our favourite drink choices include peppermint tea brewed with a touch of honey (packed in a thermos), coconut water, filtered water and juice boxes.
Photo credit: Rubbermaid Products/Flickr
Trail Mix 7 of 10
I forgo the candy and make my own trail mix using nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I don't follow a recipe for the trail mix as it varies all the time. Sesame sticks mixed with peanuts and raisins is one combo that we love, another includes dried cranberries, dried apples, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Yum!
The kids like to graze on their little baggies filled with these energy packed ingredients. The nice thing about trail mix is that you don't have to worry about it spoiling.
Photo credit: @bastique/Flickr
Wipes 8 of 10
It sounds simple, but sometimes the simple things are what work the best. A cool wipe across a tired forehead or a refreshing cloth to was dirty fingers feels incredible when you've been in the car forever!
Fresh Air 9 of 10
A gust of fresh air is invigorating - yes even in the winter! My 4-year-old asks us to open the window in the cold temperatures, even just for a couple of minutes. She says it makes her feel better and I would have to agree as it does the same for all of us!
Photo credit: karindalziel/Flickr
Books 10 of 10
Books filled with riddles and jokes or activity and problem solving books are great energy boosters! You won't fall asleep in the middle of reading them and they keep children's energy levels high, yet contained!
Some of our favorite road trip books include Not For Parents Travel Book from Lonely Planet (filled with all sorts of funny and oh so interesting facts!), Where's Waldo (hello classic!) and Richard Scarry's Big Busy Sticker & Activity Book (FULL of stickers and fun activities).
When the kids get tired of reading, mix it up with games. For games, I pull inspiration from the web. Spoonful has some classic suggestions to get you started!
Photo credit: AnneCN/Flickr
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.